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Woody Allen’s Romantic Movie With Bruni to Open Cannes Festival

Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy, president of France, with his wife Carla Bruni. Photographer: Win McNamee/Pool via Bloomberg

Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris,” which features a cameo appearance by French first lady Carla Bruni, is the opening movie of the Cannes Film Festival, which starts on May 11, the event’s organizers said today.

Allen’s romantic comedy stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and President Nicolas Sarkozy’s wife in a walk-on role. Prize contenders include Spanish director Pedro Almodovar’s “La Piel Que Habito” (“The Skin I Live In”) and Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia,” the organizers said at a news conference at Le Grand Hotel in Paris.

The red carpet and more than 3,000 movies are ready to roll out for the film industry’s 64th annual gathering in the south of France.

“There will be no popcorn served,” Gerald Duchaussoy, one of the festival’s organizers, said in an interview. “Cannes is the ultimate film temple. We’re expecting 30,000 people to show up.”

The star of Cannes 2011 is Oscar-winning actor and jury president Robert De Niro. The 67-year-old American will head the nine-member panel of international judges who view the 20 titles scheduled to compete for the coveted Palme d’Or for best film.

Films being screened during the two-week festival include Walt Disney Co.’s “Pirates of the Caribbean 4” with Johnny Depp reprising his role as Captain Jack Sparrow.

Cannes 2011 corporate sponsors include Hewlett-Packard Co., L’Oreal SA, Renault SA and Electrolux AB.

The first Cannes film festival took place in 1946, a year after World War II ended. Among the event’s earliest award winners were directors Orson Welles, Luis Bunuel, Ingmar Bergman and Satyajit Ray.

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